TDMA vs GSM (ATT)? Which phone?

Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

I have the ATT TDMA service (national plan, but mostly used in Chicago
area, Indiana, Wsconsin and Minnesota). Today when I was browsing in
one of their stores, a salesman suggested I switch to their GSM
service. Is that good idea, bad idea, or it's-the-same-thing kind of
idea? (I don't need international service.)

What is the best phone for each kind of service? I want light phone,
battery life, speakerphone if possible, but don't need other bells and
whistles.
17 answers Last reply
More about tdma phone
  1. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    Technically GSM is "TDMA." but a better
    implemented version. Time Division Multiple
    Access (GSM) style has some shortcomings, i.e,
    spectrum utilization and speed for data purposes.
    Cheerio, hip,hip old chap. Regards
  2. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    "RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote in message
    news:020820040349081549%rps@null.void...
    > I have the ATT TDMA service (national plan, but mostly used in Chicago
    > area, Indiana, Wsconsin and Minnesota). Today when I was browsing in
    > one of their stores, a salesman suggested I switch to their GSM
    > service. Is that good idea, bad idea, or it's-the-same-thing kind of
    > idea? (I don't need international service.)
    >
    > What is the best phone for each kind of service? I want light phone,
    > battery life, speakerphone if possible, but don't need other bells and
    > whistles.

    The only problem I have with the current GSM network is its sparse coverage
    relative to the older TDMA network. Granted, that position will improve but
    for now its the reason I'm staying with TDMA.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    You can buy a go phone, or simply start a new line of service and return it
    before the
    trial time period expires. Go phone uses AT&T's GSM network, and according
    to my friends which own them, does roam (albeit at higher per minute rate).

    Anyway, this would probably give you a good idea of how GSM will perform
    for you, and without losing your old TDMA plan. If you're OK with GSM
    cancel the GSM phone and convert the TDMA phone over.

    One thing that effects me and some of my family members: If you depend
    on an external antenna to make calls, you'll have a hard time finding a
    modern
    GSM phone with any external connector. i.e. 5160, 6160 the old
    bread and butter TDMA phones have a well designed external antenna
    connector.

    -Dan

    --
    Eugene, Oregon -- Pacific Northwest
    http://cell.uoregon.edu


    "RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote in message
    news:020820040349081549%rps@null.void...
    >I have the ATT TDMA service (national plan, but mostly used in Chicago
    > area, Indiana, Wsconsin and Minnesota). Today when I was browsing in
    > one of their stores, a salesman suggested I switch to their GSM
    > service. Is that good idea, bad idea, or it's-the-same-thing kind of
    > idea? (I don't need international service.)
    >
    > What is the best phone for each kind of service? I want light phone,
    > battery life, speakerphone if possible, but don't need other bells and
    > whistles.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    On Tue, 3 Aug 2004 07:55:42 -0700, "Dan Albrich"
    <junkmail@shaney.uoregon.edui> wrote:

    >One thing that effects me and some of my family members: If you depend
    >on an external antenna to make calls, you'll have a hard time finding a
    >modern
    >GSM phone with any external connector. i.e. 5160, 6160 the old
    >bread and butter TDMA phones have a well designed external antenna
    >connector.

    As does the Nokia 6310i a tri-band GSM phone.

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    remove NONO from .NONOcom to reply
  5. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    > "RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote in message
    > news:020820040349081549%rps@null.void...
    > > I have the ATT TDMA service (national plan, but mostly used in Chicago
    > > area, Indiana, Wsconsin and Minnesota). Today when I was browsing in
    > > one of their stores, a salesman suggested I switch to their GSM
    > > service. Is that good idea, bad idea, or it's-the-same-thing kind of
    > > idea? (I don't need international service.)
    > >


    ATTWS is encouraging their customers to "upgrade" to GSM. If TDMA works as
    well for you as it does for me, and if you do not require data transmission
    capabilities, you should stay where you are. If it ain't broke, don't fix
    it.

    Depending on your location, you may find that your GSM service is
    unavailable in rural areas--areas where there IS either digital (TDMA) or
    analog coverage. My TDMA phone can be handed off to an analog network if
    there is no digital service--a GSM phone cannot. It just dies. Heaven
    forbid that you have a breakdown or other emergency and you are in a non-GSM
    area. What good is that fancy phone, with all those bells and whistles,
    then?

    I have read that most ATTWS reps know full well that customers will get more
    reliable service on TDMA for now, but they obviously give the company pitch
    to switch. Unfortunately, most of the postings I've read here have
    expressed frustration that there is no way to return to the old TDMA plan if
    one is dissatisfied with GSM--especially if you were on a grandfathered
    plan.

    If you do decide to test GSM, it might be wise to keep your old TDMA plan
    active for the first month, while you experiment with GSM. You can cancel
    any new ATTWS service without penalty in the first 30 days. Admittedly, you
    will incur extra expense maintaining two phone plans for that one month, but
    it is your insurance that you can change your mind if the GSM service does
    not meet your expectations.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    Jeremy <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote:

    > especially if you were on a grandfathered plan...

    Via grandfathering and incentives along the way my $35 TDMA plan gives
    me 850 anytime minues, unlimited night and weekends. So I am not about
    to give it up lightly.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    Jeremy wrote:
    > Depending on your location, you may find that your GSM service is
    > unavailable in rural areas--areas where there IS either digital (TDMA) or
    > analog coverage. My TDMA phone can be handed off to an analog network if
    > there is no digital service--a GSM phone cannot. It just dies. Heaven
    > forbid that you have a breakdown or other emergency and you are in a non-GSM
    > area. What good is that fancy phone, with all those bells and whistles,
    > then?

    I have ATTWS GSM in Northern Mississippi and work in an area still
    relatively rural. While true I cannot make or receive calls, which
    I really don't like and who does, my phone tells me that it will
    take emergency calls only.

    Gary P
  8. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    On Tue, 03 Aug 2004 15:47:31 GMT, lvdlrs <lvdlrs@midsouth.rr.com>
    wrote:

    >I have ATTWS GSM in Northern Mississippi and work in an area still
    >relatively rural. While true I cannot make or receive calls, which
    >I really don't like and who does, my phone tells me that it will
    >take emergency calls only.

    Meaning that it's using either T-Mobile or cingular.

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    remove NONO from .NONOcom to reply
  9. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    "RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote in message
    news:030820040959346964%rps@null.void...
    > Jeremy <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote:
    >
    > > especially if you were on a grandfathered plan...
    >
    > Via grandfathering and incentives along the way my $35 TDMA plan gives
    > me 850 anytime minues, unlimited night and weekends. So I am not about
    > to give it up lightly.

    Well, you certainly won't be able to get it back if you do give it up! I
    have a $30 TDMA plan, unlimited mobile-to-mobile 24/7, including free long
    distance, 7 pm nights, unlimited nights & weekends, free long distance at
    all times, 650 minutes anytime (but I rarely use even half of them, because
    I make most of my calls nights or mobile-to-mobile, which are always free)
    and only a one-year commitment. I am not about to give my plan up, either.

    ATTWS rep told me yesterday that TDMA will stay on for at least 5 more
    years, possibly 10 years, so I am in no mood to switch. I just bought
    another brand new TDMA phone on eBay last week, to keep as a spare.

    I prefer reliability and economy over bells and whistles, and TDMA is a
    better fit for me.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    "lvdlrs" <lvdlrs@midsouth.rr.com> wrote in message
    news:nsOPc.5293$975.1897@fe2.columbus.rr.com...
    > Jeremy wrote:
    > > Depending on your location, you may find that your GSM service is
    > > unavailable in rural areas--areas where there IS either digital (TDMA)
    or
    > > analog coverage. My TDMA phone can be handed off to an analog network
    if
    > > there is no digital service--a GSM phone cannot. It just dies. Heaven
    > > forbid that you have a breakdown or other emergency and you are in a
    non-GSM
    > > area. What good is that fancy phone, with all those bells and whistles,
    > > then?
    >
    > I have ATTWS GSM in Northern Mississippi and work in an area still
    > relatively rural. While true I cannot make or receive calls, which
    > I really don't like and who does, my phone tells me that it will
    > take emergency calls only.
    >
    > Gary P
    >

    Sounds like there is a signal there, but ATTWS has no roaming agreement in
    effect with whatever carrier owns that tower.

    My TDMA service has a huge roaming area, and I always can make or receive
    calls--even if it is only via an analog carrier (I rarely flip to analog
    anymore.)

    I lose my PCS features when my phone goes to analog mode, but I get my
    voicemail notification and text messages as soon as I return to the digital
    network.

    I even keep my PCS features when I am on Extended Area. I have read that
    Verizon customers often lose their PCS features when they leave their home
    system--even if they are roaming on the America's Choice Network! Bummer!

    Biggest incentive for me to stay with TDMA is the fact that I've got so many
    bonuses and incentives on my present plan that I would not be able to come
    close to it if I went GSM. I have three lines, and I pay under $100 per
    month, and they are all loaded with unlimited free mobile to mobile and
    night/weekend minutes. So I'm staying with TDMA.

    I can think of worse situations to be in.
  11. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    Jeremy <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote:

    > ... I have a $30 TDMA plan, unlimited mobile-to-mobile 24/7, including
    > free long distance, 7 pm nights, unlimited nights & weekends, free long
    > distance at all times, 650 minutes anytime...

    That is excellent!

    > I just bought another brand new TDMA phone on eBay last week, to keep
    > as a spare.

    What did you get and how much?

    What are good TDMA phones that will work with ATT? (My old clunker is
    ready to retire to its proper use: as a weight for wrist exercises!)

    I have been looking at Nokia 3560 and 6560 on Ebay. What is a good Ebay
    price for these?

    Are there other phones you consider better? I don't need bells and
    whistles but kind of like the idea of speakerphone for hands off use in
    the car.
  12. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    >
    >I have been looking at Nokia 3560 and 6560 on Ebay. What is a good Ebay
    >price for these?
    >
    >Are there other phones you consider better? I don't need bells and
    >whistles but kind of like the idea of speakerphone for hands off use in
    >the car.

    I'm not the original poster, but have recently purchased the 3560 on
    e-bay to use with the at&t Free2go preplay plan. (100$ card that lasts
    for a year is tough to beat.)

    The phone works great, has good reception, and an exceptionally long
    batter life. No speakerphone though.

    I paid $35.00 on e-bay plus 7 bucks to ship. It came with the wall
    charger and a headset.

    Rick
  13. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    "RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote in message
    news:030820041234012992%rps@null.void...
    >
    > What did you get and how much?
    >

    I have Panasonic Versio phones. I bought my first one from ATT, when my
    Ericsson LX588 flip phone broke. The Ericsson had a very poorly designed
    antenna mount--I broke 2 antennas. It also had a weak switch in the flip
    hinge. The plastic cracked, and the phone would no longer work.

    I didn't like the Panasonic phone at first. No flip. A "bar" phone. But
    it was reliable as could be, and it had better reception in fringe areas.
    It also had a speakerphone, and I found that quite a nifty feature, because
    I could talk without holding the phone against my head (and, thus,
    minimizing the risk of radiation).

    The lithium-ion battery has been much easier to charge than the NiMH battery
    on the Ericsson (that battery required regular conditioning--full discharge
    followed by full recharge). The battery was much lighter and smaller than
    the Ericsson battery.

    The Versio is a multi-network phone. Works in digital and analog service
    areas (not so important now, but it was a real concern 3 years ago).

    The phone has never given me a moment's trouble. It just keeps on working
    (I did have to replace the battery after 2 years, but that is to be
    expected). It is as reliable a phone as I've ever seen. No bells and
    whistles, no clamshell or flip design, but it is a handsome unit and it has
    none of the design deficiencies of the Ericsson flip phones.

    If you want a solid, reliable TDMA performer, I can't speak highly enough
    about this particular model. Panasonic has a subsequent model, called the
    Allure, that added voice dialing and more autodial locations.

    There may be other reliable phones like this, but I can vouch only for the
    model that I am most familiar with. I would not consider a flip phone or a
    clamshell phone anymore. Too much potential for breakage.

    I bought 3 new ones for $60.00 total! Used ones are even cheaper, and
    because the phone is so rugged, a used phone typically has a lot of life
    left in it. You can't go wrong with a Versio (unless you want color
    screens, bells and whistles . . . )


    > What are good TDMA phones that will work with ATT? (My old clunker is
    > ready to retire to its proper use: as a weight for wrist exercises!)
    >
    > I have been looking at Nokia 3560 and 6560 on Ebay. What is a good Ebay
    > price for these?
    >
    > Are there other phones you consider better? I don't need bells and
    > whistles but kind of like the idea of speakerphone for hands off use in
    > the car.
  14. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    I'd like to add my personal favorite, the Motorola v60i. There's lots of
    them on eBay for $20 to $100. I also use a CDMA v60i and the battery in one
    is the spare for the other. Accessories are cheap and performance is as
    good as any of our AT&T phones. It doesn't have a speakerphone, but I use a
    standard handsfree headset.

    And yes, even in town, the TDMA network is still much better than the GSM
    network. It will get better, but maybe not for a year or two.


    Bill Radio
    Click for Western U.S. Wireless Reviews at:
    http://www.mountainwireless.com

    "RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote in message
    news:030820041234012992%rps@null.void...
    >
    > Are there other phones you consider better? I don't need bells and
    > whistles but kind of like the idea of speakerphone for hands off use in
    > the car.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    "Jeremy" <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote in message
    news:XdUPc.24520$iK.2804@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
    >
    > "RPS" <rps@null.void> wrote in message
    > news:030820041234012992%rps@null.void...
    > >
    > > What did you get and how much?
    > >
    >
    > I have Panasonic Versio phones. I bought my first one from ATT, when
    my
    > Ericsson LX588 flip phone broke. The Ericsson had a very poorly
    designed
    > antenna mount--I broke 2 antennas. It also had a weak switch in the
    flip
    > hinge. The plastic cracked, and the phone would no longer work.
    >
    > I didn't like the Panasonic phone at first. No flip. A "bar" phone.
    But
    > it was reliable as could be, and it had better reception in fringe
    areas.
    > It also had a speakerphone, and I found that quite a nifty feature,
    because
    > I could talk without holding the phone against my head (and, thus,
    > minimizing the risk of radiation).
    >
    > The lithium-ion battery has been much easier to charge than the NiMH
    battery
    > on the Ericsson (that battery required regular conditioning--full
    discharge
    > followed by full recharge). The battery was much lighter and smaller
    than
    > the Ericsson battery.
    >
    > The Versio is a multi-network phone. Works in digital and analog
    service
    > areas (not so important now, but it was a real concern 3 years ago).
    >
    > The phone has never given me a moment's trouble. It just keeps on
    working
    > (I did have to replace the battery after 2 years, but that is to be
    > expected). It is as reliable a phone as I've ever seen. No bells and
    > whistles, no clamshell or flip design, but it is a handsome unit and
    it has
    > none of the design deficiencies of the Ericsson flip phones.
    >
    > If you want a solid, reliable TDMA performer, I can't speak highly
    enough
    > about this particular model. Panasonic has a subsequent model, called
    the
    > Allure, that added voice dialing and more autodial locations.
    >
    > There may be other reliable phones like this, but I can vouch only for
    the
    > model that I am most familiar with. I would not consider a flip phone
    or a
    > clamshell phone anymore. Too much potential for breakage.
    >
    > I bought 3 new ones for $60.00 total! Used ones are even cheaper, and
    > because the phone is so rugged, a used phone typically has a lot of
    life
    > left in it. You can't go wrong with a Versio (unless you want color
    > screens, bells and whistles . . . )
    >
    >
    >
    > > What are good TDMA phones that will work with ATT? (My old clunker
    is
    > > ready to retire to its proper use: as a weight for wrist exercises!)
    > >
    > > I have been looking at Nokia 3560 and 6560 on Ebay. What is a good
    Ebay
    > > price for these?
    > >
    > > Are there other phones you consider better? I don't need bells and
    > > whistles but kind of like the idea of speakerphone for hands off use
    in
    > > the car.
    >
    I bought a Nokia 6360 a few weeks ago, specifically for its analog
    capability; it can manage a good signal across 15 miles of open water at
    my summer place, while my daughter's all-digital phone (with colour
    screen, games, fancy ringtones, etc.) might as well be a brick.

    The 6360 will also hold service along big stretches of rural BC
    highways, where GSM is still several years away. A good "safety
    device", it also offers a larger screen than my last one, with bigger
    fonts, and good batttery life so far.
  16. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    > >
    > > Are there other phones you consider better? I don't need bells and
    > > whistles but kind of like the idea of speakerphone for hands off use in
    > > the car.
    >

    I have previously praised Panasonic Versio phones on this NG. This morning
    I saw a seller on eBay that is offering them for $39.99, new and unopened
    boxes, and he has a bunch of them for sale.

    I've seen better prices, but even at $40 bucks, I think that this is a
    really good value, because they are rugged, and they have given me more
    reliable performance than any other wireless phone I've ever used. Also
    they have a speakerphone, and I use it a lot (it is not as loud as a Nextel
    speakerphone, because they need to watch out for feedback. The Panasonic
    phone is full duplex. The Nextel phone is half duplex, and feedback is not
    an issue. Their phones probably automatically mute the microphone whenever
    a walkie-talkie inbound message is put ouve the phone's speaker.)

    If anyone wants to have a look at these phones, here is the link. There are
    other phones offered at even lower prices, but $40 for a brand new phone,
    and no new ATTWS term commitment, looks pretty good to me.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=64355&item=5713517925&rd=1
  17. Archived from groups: alt.cellular,alt.cellular.attws,alt.cellular.nokia,alt.cellular.tech,alt.cellular.telephones (More info?)

    Jeremy <jeremy@nospam.thanks.com> wrote:

    > I have previously praised Panasonic Versio phones on this NG...

    Thank you very much for your kind feedback. This has put Panasonic on
    my list!

    I have basically concluded that Nokia 6560, though I like it, is simply
    too expensive.

    If someone has experience with Nokia 3560 and Panasonic versio/allure,
    I would be grateful for a comparison. They go for comparable prices on
    Ebay.

    Do you find the panasonic's speakerphone useful (eg, loud enough in car
    with some road noise)?
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